Archive for November, 2009

Ahh, It is soooooooo Good!

The sunsets golden, the water tower stands clear, the foreground trees play and the clouds shine against the sun …
and it cannot be ignored.

Photo Class is finished, the last excited and satisfied student head-filled-with-how-to-use-their-camera-at-least-in-manual-mode-and-no-room-even-to-think-of-another-question departed, I’ve packed up my gear and made two trips to the truck and this view greets me.


No time to even grab the tripod, though I wish I had, just handheld bracketing for clarity. A bit of post processing to bring out the clouds and there you have it, a few days after taking the photo it becomes my temporary background on my backup computer while the primary sits waiting for repair.

Usually a terrible thing, with Dell NBD warranty still in effect, Unisys (PC Place) called the next day to set up the appoint the day after. (Still on track since I called it in after 5 pm.) This is great. I’ve got deadlines and projects and one really great job, for which the final numbers need to go in by early morning after my computer is fixed. The raw info is on my primary computer in three different places including a recent email. Instead of pulling this out of a backup, I save the time.

 The hour of service-man-arrival nets only a phone call: his co-worker is sick so he’s taking his co-worker’s calls and I am bumped another two days later. Now my time is overfull. I’ve no time to pull the numbers from the backup. Another project runs slow, a deadline looms, I meet it, and the next morning comes and goes and I miss this nice $1000 project.

I’ve already told the poor service guy not showing up at the appointed time is not acceptable, clearly, firmly and repeatedly, but nicely. He’s not coming no matter what I say, but he’ll call back. I call Dell while I’m working to deadline, wait on hold, get transferred around, and I ask for them to make up to me the loss of this $1000 on my next purchase, which I’m ready to finalize.

I’m told they cannot. But a “special deal” is offered: $200 off the system! The next day I get two email from Dell, reminding me to take advantage of their “up to 75% off” special – not limited to any system, but sent out like a lottery to everyone. The $200 doesn’t even match the minimum discount of this offer.

The day after the appointed time a slim smoke smelling smiling tech arrives, rips the computer apart, replaces the mother board, replaces the screen … and it works just fine. The hard drive heat sink was dust clogged, the CPU probably has been compromised but everything still runs, the gel to hold the heat sink in full conductive contact with the CPU is not replaced, and now the fan kicks in right away on start up, and runs constantly. The replacement system is two weeks away (no special on timing.)

I’m wondering if I should keep using Dell. Great promises, just not met. Or maybe I should just expect lousy service, not trust the promises. On that first call and the next day I made numerous calls (while I was otherwise occupied but able to use the telephone) to discover when that service call would be made, since they were likely going to dispatch someone from 2.5 hours away. I should have not trusted the appointment time, not pushed my schedule all around to make their time work to my day. Still have spent the time on the future $1000 and left other present deadlines unmet??

Even in this day one ought to still be able to get the service one pays for, to trust the appointment times, and be able to bank on it. And when it goes south those responsible should pony up with the best special available, not some cheesey anybody-gets-it-for-asking kind of offer.

Not to end on the complaint: It is soooo different than my first jobs decades ago, where computers were no where to be seen. I’ve come to rely heavily on the tremendous increase in productivity made possible by computers, enough so that it’s scary and debilitating to not have my work horse available. I spent some time last evening rethinking what life would be like without the computer as an essential component of my work. Hard to imagine.

But it is sooooo good to have this one up and running (if limping).

Tail End of

Almost the  tail end of fall, but it continues on to our great appreciation.

Cat tail

We are like this sometimes, frayed and blown in the wind, but that brings out the seeds of new ideas and processes, which with time, blossom into new work.

Feels pretty ragged in the middle, but the end is delightful … and then the raggedness begins all over again.

Nothing like the middle. We all hope that we really are more than just fluff inside, that there is fruit there as well.

Golden Rise

Out looking for geese, the sunrise before the geese came our way was spectacular.


Just a normal sunrise on the prairies.